Frequently Asked QuestionsClark's Farm, farming in Howard County since 1797.
Listed below are some of the questions we are often asked.
We have different store hours throughout the year.
Mid November through the end of March: Our Castle Store will be open Saturdays 12noon-3pm. Park in the petting farm parking lot, enter the Castle Store building to purchase our meats.
April 1 - early November: You can come to our Castle Store anytime the petting farm is open (Tuesday to Sunday 10 AM to 5 PM). Park in the petting farm parking lot, enter the Castle Store building, pick your beef from the freezer, and make your purchase. It's that easy.
July 1 - Labor Day: Clark's Produce Market will be open and we will have our meats available at the roadside stand seven days a week from 10 AM to 6 PM.
We will email out our newsletter and post on our website if we are closed due to weather or if we are out of meat.
You can purchase small quantities of our meat. We know that these days most people don't have big freezers, so we want to make our meats available to our customers in a form that works for them. The steaks and chops are individually wrapped, ground beef, pork, sausage, and bacon are in 1 pound packages, roasts are usually 3-4 pounds each. The beef is dry aged at the processor for three weeks (to enhance flavor and tenderness), then flash frozen and vacuum wrapped in plastic so you can see the cuts in our freezer. All our meat is frozen at the processor and stored frozen at our store. We also sell bones, organ meat, leaf lard and rendered lard. We DO NOT sell any of our meat as whole, half or quarter animals.
- Put away your timer, get a good meat thermometer, and be prepared to use it. Grassfed meats are significantly lower in fat than the meats you're likely to find on grocery shelves. Since the fat works as an insulator, it changes the way your meat cooks. Lean roasts will cook in the oven faster than roasts that are higher in fat. Also, there is likely to be much more variation in size and thickness of the cuts of grassfed meats than you may be accustomed to. Most recipes will give you times, you are more likely to have a good result if you use a high-quality meat thermometer instead.
- Turn down the heat. If the heat is too high when grassfed meat is cooked, the moisture and the fat will exit quickly, which will toughen the protein. Until you're thoroughly familiar with cooking grassfed meats, it is best to set the flame a little lower when you're grilling or frying and to set the oven temperature lower than is customary.
- Learn when to use dry-heat cooking methods and when to use moist-heat methods. Dry-heat method is the process whereby the fats and water are pulled from the meat, firming it up until it reaches the desired doneness. This includes pan-frying, broiling, roasting, barbecuing, grilling, stir-frying, and sautéing. Dry-heat cooking methods are appropriate for tender cuts of meat - such as loin cuts. For less tender cuts, use moist-heat methods, such as braising, stewing, crock-pot cooking and boiling. Beef chuck roast, top rounds and eye of rounds can be put in a 170 degree oven and allowed to roast for several hours. The resulting meat is extremely flavorful and juicy, because the juice does not escape at such a low temperature.
- You don't need so much seasonings and sauces for grassfed beef. Because we are used to the flavor and texture of conventionally raised, factory-farmed meats, we assume we need to give the meat flavor through the use of seasonings and sauces. This may be true for the meats sold in grocery stores, but animals raised on pasture produce meats that have a distinctive flavor. Grassfed meats should be seasoned delicately so as not to mask or compromise their true flavor. These tips are excerpted from "The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook" by Shannon Hayes (It's a great cookbook available for sale at our farm.)
A brief review of the excellent value of 100% grassfed, naturally raised beef includes the following:
- At Clark's Farm our cows are never fed any grain or given any synthetic hormones, steroids, unnecessary antibiotics or animal byproducts.
- We raise our beef in an environmentally friendly manner with humane care and sustainable farming practices.
- 100% Grassfed beef is high in Omega-3, CLA, favorable fatty acids, and antioxidants, such as Vitamin E
- 100% Grassfed beef has a favorable unsaturated to saturated fat ratio and is lower in total fat and cholesterol.
- The 100% grassfed beef raised on our farm is raised by a farmer you know. You are supporting local agriculture and encouraging your farmer to keep farming in your community. Buying locally-raised beef greatly reduces transportation costs
- Safe and wholesome. The ground beef you are buying from Clark's Farm is from one cow, who can be identified, not a mixture of ground beef from hundreds of cows as is the general practice today.